Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas express shock at suspect Jonathan Tiernan-Locke blood levels
Rider could be charged with doping offence
Sunday 29 September 2013
Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas were left “shocked” and “surprised” after their Team Sky team-mate Jonathan Tiernan-Locke was withdrawn from racing while he prepares a response to allegations that potential discrepancies in his biological passport have revealed suspect blood values.
The UCI, cycling’s governing body, has given the British rider three weeks to provide answers before a three-strong panel determine whether he should be charged with a doping offence. He had been due to ride in support of Froome in yesterday’s World Championships road race in Florence but pulled out on Thursday when informed of the discrepancies. Tiernan-Locke claimed the withdrawal was simply down to poor form but the UCI concerns were leaked on Saturday night.
The British team heard the news as they prepared to race yesterday. “It’s a shock for all of us,” said Froome. Thomas said: “It’s a massive surprise.”
Sky issued a statement yesterday confirming the UCI investigation and that the period in question pre-dates Tiernan-Locke joining the team, occurring when he was racing for the Endura team in 2012. It said: “Team Sky has been informed by Jonathan Tiernan-Locke that the UCI has notified him of a potential discrepancy in his biological passport data. He has withdrawn from racing whilst his response to the UCI is prepared.
“We have no doubts over his performance, behaviour or tests at Team Sky and understand any anomaly is in readings taken before he joined the team. Team Sky has tried to respect what should be a confidential process, allowing the rider to explain in private, without prejudice, and the anti-doping authorities to do their valuable job.”
The 28-year-old was signed by Sky after enjoying a memorable 2012, when he won the Tour of Britain, the Tour Méditerranéen and the Tour du Haut Var. He did not have a biological passport – used to record long-term testing that shows up signs of blood doping or performance-enhancing drugs – while with Endura as they are a lower-tier team, but he was tested more regularly.
Brian Smith, his manager at Endura, defended his former charge yesterday. “I can’t explain any of the irregularities but I would definitely vouch 100 per cent for Jon,” Smith told Cycling News.
Latest in Sport
My one and only game for Neil Baldwin FC
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny announce engagement
Jose Mourinho says Chelsea deserve to be setting pace going into Christmas fixtures
Manchester United vs Newcastle United preview: Alan Pardew targets rare Old Trafford win to halt Newcastle slump
Arsenal vs QPR: Leroy Fer seeks perfect present for Boxing Day
- 1 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Vagina canoe artist facing two years in jail defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...